54th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (11 September to 13 October 2023)
General Debate on Item 9: Follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration
Whilst the Durban Declaration condemns “nationalist ideologies based on racial or national prejudice,” throughout Europe we are continuing to see a rise in far-right political influence, and the promotion of ideologies based on religious- and ethno- nationalism and supremacy.
It is a movement which, as observed by the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, limits ‘the people’ to a “particular racial, ethnic or religious group understood to be the only legitimate national group.” Those demarcated as outside the group are demonized as a threat to the survival and preservation of the nation, and as such, a seemingly legitimate target for discrimination and hate.
Across Europe, there are parties in power with Nazi and neo-fascist roots. There are political leaders, including government representatives, openly subscribing to the great replacement theory or warning of “ethnic replacement” or the nation becoming “mixed race.” Others have been associated with neo-Nazism or have expressed openly racist views.
Even where they do not hold political positions, we see an increasing normalisation of the far-right’s policies within the mainstream, fuelling discrimination based on xenophobic and racist scapegoating. They exploit social media and alternative platforms, and “attention hack” with hate and fear campaigns, and disinformation.
Durban talks of the importance of remembering history to avert future tragedies; Mr. President, we have trodden this path before and know the dangers of standing by whilst ethno-nationalism and supremacist ideologies seep into wider acceptance. A world where what had previously provoked horror and outrage becomes something that is seen as the norm. It behoves us all to remember.
 A/73/305, para 11.
 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/11/finnish-far-right-finance-minister-riikka-purra-accused-of-racist-online-comments, https://www.politico.eu/article/finlands-economy-minister-resigns-after-nazi-references/, https://www.ynetnews.com/article/bysq87nfh, https://www.dw.com/en/afd-leaders-and-their-most-offensive-remarks/g-37651099, https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/en/2023/02/23/ex-far-right-lawmaker-to-face-holocaust-denial-charges/, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/swedish-far-right-politician-caught-sharing-racist-images-about-black-people/2678674, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48018110, https://www.euractiv.com/section/non-discrimination/news/french-far-right-mp-excluded-from-parliament-over-racist-comment/ , https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/06/343055/racist-comment-from-vox-mp-to-muslim-colleague-sparks-outrage
 For example: https://www.brusselstimes.com/596115/vlaams-belang-breaks-political-ad-spending-record-ahead-of-flanders-day; https://www.brusselstimes.com/350720/vlaams-belang-spent-e20000-on-facebook-ads-to-incite-anti-immigrant-sentiments; https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2022/09/23/italy-elections-who-has-spent-the-most-money-on-facebook-ads; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334155685_The_Rise_of_Germany’s_AfD_A_Social_Media_Analysis, https://www.isdglobal.org/isd-publications/in-the-blind-spot-how-right-wing-extremists-use-alternative-platforms-for-radicalisation/; https://www.sv.uio.no/c-rex/english/groups/compendium/what-is-the-relationship-between-the-far-right-and-the-media.html; https://time.com/5627494/we-analyzed-how-the-great-replacement-and-far-right-ideas-spread-online-the-trends-reveal-deep-concerns/,
'Rise of Far-Right in Europe', Humanists International